Melo, Fish, and a Struggling Triangle

Carmelo Anthony is averaging the lowest points per game of his career thus far this season. PHOTO/ Keith Allison via Flickr

By Brian Munguia

Published: November 11, 2014

Carmelo Anthony is a very talented player and a prolific scorer who doesn’t have the supporting cast he needs to succeed.

Derek Fisher is a new coach with a long road ahead of him.

This past offseason Anthony signed a $124 million-contract to stay with the New York Knicks even though he had the chance to sign with a more championship-ready team like the Chicago Bulls or Houston Rockets. After all of the hype and time spent visiting other teams during the free agency period, Melo decided to stay with the Knicks and in turn signed onto Knicks President Phil Jackson’s vision of the team.

While it doesn’t seem to be Jackson’s first choice, Fisher is the one that Jackson ended up with, and his former point guard is now leading his team—albeit this time while wearing a suit, not basketball shorts.

Jackson chose Fisher as the man to install his famed triangle offense, and, maybe most importantly, to get Anthony and the rest of the Knicks to buy into the new system. Jackson rode the success of the triangle offense to 11 championships with the Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers as a coach, and hopes that the same strategy can work with the Knicks.

So far this season, however, a championship could not be further from the Knicks’ minds. Over the first few games of this season, Anthony and the rest of the Knicks have struggled to adopt and successfully implement the triangle offense.

Thus far the Knicks are ranked 29th in the National Basketball Association in scoring, tallying a lowly 89.8 points per game.

In their matchup with the Detroit Pistons last Wednesday, Anthony had a terrible night and demonstrated that the team has a long way to go. In the first half, he missed all six of his field goal attempts and ended the game with just 13 points on 5-21 shooting from the field. On the season the new offense has not seemed to sit well with Anthony’s game; he has averaged 19.6 points per game and shot a paltry .406 shooting percentage from the field.

The triangle offense has been successful with stars in the past—see Bryant, Kobe or Jordan, Michael—but for the Knicks, the play of their point guards will be key in initiating the offense and insuring ball movement. Whether the main duties fall to the injured Jose Calderon when he returns or the inexperienced Shane Larkin, someone is going to have to step up for the Knicks if they want their offense to run more efficiently.

Anthony is no Michael Jordan and Fisher is no Jackson (as a coach), so the star and the coach need to better combine talent and system if the Knickerbockers have any hope of reaching the playoffs.